Food safety messaging for direct-marketing farms: COVID-19

As a farmer, how do you communicate your commitment to food safety? The efforts you take to produce safe and healthy food are often unseen by your customers. Now, perhaps more than ever, they are interested in learning about your safety practices. Whether you’re connecting with customers online or in-person, it’s a great time to share how you keep your food, staff, and customers safe.

Here are tips for communicating your farm’s commitment to food safety and your response to COVID-19:

  • Highlight practices you’ve always had in place to ensure food safety and new precautions taken in response to COVID-19.
  • Use simple and concise language – have a non-farmer review messaging to find your blind spots.
  • Incorporate visuals like photos or videos of employees cleaning equipment or washing hands.
  • Stick to the facts – focus on what your farm is actually doing, not what you think you should be doing!
  • Reassure customers that COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness. Understand other food safety questions and concerns customers might have and provide fact-based answers.
  • Connect with the UW-Madison Division of Extension for research-based information on best practices around food safety, visit https://fsmaproducesafety.wisc.edu/.

Sample messaging for farms (use what applies to your farm):

  • Our farm is committed to food safety.
  • Farm staff monitor for illness and stay home when sick.
  • Farm staff have access to paid sick leave.
  • Farm staff are provided personal protective equipment to keep them safe at work.
  • Farm staff follow all physical distancing and handwashing guidelines related to COVID-19.
  • Our tools and equipment are cleaned and sanitized [enter frequency].
  • On-farm visitors are limited to ensure the safety of farm staff and products.
  • COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness.

For COVID-19 guidance for farmers market vendors, visit:

UW-Madison Division of Extension – COVID-19 Strategies for Farmers Markets: https://farms.extension.wisc.edu/covid-19-strategies-for-farmers-markets/

Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Guidance for Farmers Markets: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community.htm#-farmers-markets

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